Discovery of an optical bow-shock around pulsar B0740-28

D. H. Jones*, B. W. Stappers, B. M. Gaensler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


We report the discovery of a faint Hα pulsar wind nebula (PWN) powered by the radio pulsar B0740-28. The characteristic bow-shock morphology of the PWN implies a direction of motion consistent with the previously measured velocity vector for the pulsar. The PWN has a flux density more than an order of magnitude lower than for the PWNe seen around other pulsars, but, for a distance 2 kpc, it is consistent with propagation through a medium of atomic density nH ∼ 0.25 cm-3, and neutral fraction of 1%. The morphology of the PWN in the area close to the pulsar is distinct from that in downstream regions, as is also seen for the PWN powered by PSR B2224+65. In particular, the PWN associated with PSR B0740-28 appears to close at its rear, suggesting that the pulsar has recently passed through a transition from low density to high density ambient gas. The faintness of this source underscores that deep searches are needed to find further examples of optical pulsar nebulae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)L1-L5
Number of pages5
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • ISM: general
  • Pulsars: individual: B0740-28


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